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Ambassador Zheng Zeguang Made Remarks at The Responsible Energy Forum 2021
2021-10-29 11:32

On October 28, 2021, Ambassador Zheng Zeguang attended via video link The Responsible Energy Forum 2021 hosted by the Rothchild Foundation and delivered remarks. The modified text of his remarks is as follows:

Build a Community with a Shared Future for All Life through Joint Climate Action

Remarks by H.E. Ambassador Zheng Zeguang at the Waddesdon Responsible Energy Forum

28 October 2021

Lord Rothschild,

Dr. Lee,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Thank you, Lord Rothschild, for your invitation. It is my great pleasure to attend The Responsible Energy Forum 2021 and share my views on China's energy revolution. Please note: I use the word "revolution" instead of "transformation".

The Guardian just carried my article on China's climate policies and position. It is entitled "China will honour its climate pledges - look at the changes we have already made". If you want to get a complete picture of my views, I refer you to that article.

Today, in the interest of time, I just want to highlight the following points.

First, China is committed to developing clean and low-carbon energy.

As the world's biggest producer and consumer of energy, China is carrying out a massive energy revolution. We are making huge efforts to develop renewable energy, promote thrift and clean use of coal, and curb high-pollution and high-energy-intensity projects.

China has become the world's largest market for renewable energy, with renewable power accounting for 29.5% of overall electricity consumption. China is also the biggest manufacturer of renewable energy equipment, ranks first in installed capacity of hydroelectric, wind and solar power generation, and has the largest nuclear power generating projects under construction.

There has been notable progress in China's energy revolution. By the end of 2020, China's carbon emissions intensity had come down by about 48% compared to the year 2005; Non-fossil fuels accounted for about 16% of primary energy consumption, and is on course to reach the targets of around 20% by 2025, 25% by 2030 and over 80% by 2060. We have clear-cut road map and time table.

Second, China is taking concrete actions to address climate change.

We have announced the goals of peaking carbon emissions before 2030 and achieving carbon neutrality before 2060, and rolled out a whole set of concrete measures to achieve these targets: the "1+N" policy framework and 10 action plans. China always honours its commitments. We mean what we say.

China has high expectations for the upcoming COP26 in Glasgow. We are ready to work closely with the UK and all the other parties to make it as productive as possible. We hope all parties will work closely together, give priority to completing the negotiations of the Paris rulebook, make arrangements for issues of major concern to developing countries including financing, technology and capacity building, and push for the implementation of their respective declared objectives.

For this to happen, it's important for all the parties to announce ambitious NDCs. But it is even more important that the NDCs should be deliverable and all the parties should take concrete policy, measures and actions to ensure their pledges are delivered. No one should pay lip service on such serious matters.

Third, China hopes to promote cooperation with the UK on green development.

There are huge potentials for practical cooperation in green finance, green technology, renewable energy, civilian use of nuclear energy, electric vehicles and carbon capture and storage. For such potential to bear fruit, however, the governments of both countries need to create a favourable political environment.

While the statement by the British government of welcoming Chinese investment is highly appreciated by Chinese companies, those talks about excluding Chinese investment from certain areas has created chilling repercussions among Chinese investors.

Economic and trade issues should not be politicized. When willful restrictions were imposed on businesses based on geopolitical or ideology reasons, you are not practicing free trade, you are going against the rules of the WTO, you are not attracting FDI, and you are doing a disservice to global cooperation on green development.

In recent years, China has stepped up independent innovation and made substantial progress. In some areas China has joined the leading group in the world. I hope China and the UK could strengthen practical cooperation on green development in all sectors rather than resorting to mutual restriction.

At this gathering of business leaders and well-known academicians, I would like to send this message:

China will open up even wider for businesses from all countries to expand practical cooperation in the Chinese market. We also welcome deeper academic exchanges between Chinese and British counterparts. The two sides must work together to meet the common challenges of climate change and promote global cooperation on green development.

I look forward to exchanging views and having more in-depth discussions with you face to face in the future.

Thank you.

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